Warragul Cycling Club’s first ever female track cycling team created history on Sunday by picking up two silver medals at the State Teams Championships in Bendigo. Lawrence Maskill, Karan Courtney-Haag, Nicole Whitburn and Monique Hanley represented Warragul in both the Teams Sprint and Teams Pursuit events, in both cases losing narrowly in the gold-silver playoffs to highly credentialed Blackburn.
The result is even more outstanding when you consider that the most experienced track rider of the team took up the sport three months ago, and team members Nicole Whitburn and Karan Courtney-Haag only climbing onto track bikes for their first time four weeks ago. Until Sunday, they had never raced together and had few chances to have all four available at the same time for team training sessions. Despite the inexperience, the women executed textbook-like starts and ran smooth transitions on the wide and open Bendigo track. Surprising themselves in finishing so closely to Blackburn ’s high quality lineup in both finals, including time trial State champions and world championship podium placegetters, the women are keen to use the experience to fuel their ambitions for gold in 2006.
A big thank-you to the support received from the community in loaning bikes and equipment, passing on track racing tips and acting as race holders on the day, particularly Simon Quick, Chris Hunt, Phil Gallagher, Rod Friend, Ross Henry, Brett Rollinson, Jake deBlauw, Travis Parker, Marty Kilduff, Hans Koch and Grant Tudor.